Taking Out the Ash
July 28, 2018, 5:16 pm
Filed under: July 2018 | Tags: , , , , ,


July 28, 2018

I started removing our dead and dying Ash trees. They have fallen victim to the Emerald Ash Borer, a pest from overseas. They have no natural predator here in the USA. My wife took these pictures as she stood by while I fell the first few. In the photo above, I am completing the notch cut. This cut determines the direction of fall. This tree had some lean so a few things came in to my decision, as to where the tree would fall. I simply wanted to guide it where it would do the least amount of damage to surrounding trees.

I am not a novice. I have been trained in the art of directional felling and have many years of experience working at this craft. I wear my safety gear always. I have someone nearby to call for emergency services if needed. I get help from seasoned professionals if I find myself with a tree that I am not comfortable doing alone. I suggest that most folks leave tree cutting to professionals, as this is a dangerous job.

In this next photo, I am making my “release” cut. I have cut all but the small hinge, looked around one last time for any changes to the area, like people or pets, perhaps even a limb I hadn’t noticed beforehand. Once I am sure all is well, I make the final cut, “releasing” the tree to fall. I walk a path 45 degree angle from the tree as it falls. My chainsaw has been shut off or the chain break set, at a minimum.


The release cut above…..Me walking safely out of harm’s way below.


My wife even caught the falling tree, just as it was about to hit the ground.


I am watching above the tree for anything that would snap back from the falling tree or trees nearby as it brushes them on the way down. The tree is stripped of its limbs to expose the marketable logs. The logs are measured and skidded out to be loaded. This tree yielded two logs twelve feet long. The limbs will be all used for boiling maple syrup. The trees will not be wasted. I feel bad that this specie will disappear from our landscape in the way of the American Elm and Chestnut. I am glad to be able to at least utilize the ones in my control.

I’d like to write a bit more, but I better keep my “Ash” busy.  :o)

Off to the Woodshed
November 10, 2015, 8:05 pm
Filed under: November 2015 | Tags: , , , ,
Headed for the woodpile

Headed for the woodpile

November 10, 2015

What a rainy day today was. It drizzled all day, forcing me to work inside. I got a whole bunch of little things done. I got my oil changed in the log splitter and I fixed a piece on Duke’s harness. We also fabricated a way to get my smokehouse up to a higher temperature. (I will share tomorrow) These things took me until afternoon, so my garage still needs order restored to it, but I will keep it on the list.

Tomorrow I will be off to the wood pile. I need some horse time and wood getting is great work for all of us. My log cart and wagon are ready to go. I have logs ready to bring out of the woods. Dead trees, mostly ash make up the majority of the wood. I will be glad to have them hauled out and put in the pile. Further cutting and splitting is easy once the wood is in a central location.

I am reminded of my grandpa Rice every time I work on firewood. Some of my favorite memories revolve around him, his horses and bringing in firewood. Sometimes we helped with “sugarwood” for the sugarhouse, but usually it was wood used to heat the house. I remember him sawing and splitting big chunks. He would load the chunks onto the wooden sled and head for the house. He had a big pile where the wood was unloaded. I don’t remember him stacking it anywhere except by the old wood furnace, but I do remember how warm the house was from the wood heat and the love of grandparents.

Feeling Loaded Down
July 6, 2015, 2:53 pm
Filed under: July 2015 | Tags: , , , , ,
Old Time Log Wagon

Old Time Log Wagon

July 6, 2015

This wagon belongs to David Knepp of Knepp Logging LLC. He and a friend restored it to its former glory. This is a big load of logs and it took eight tough horses to pull it around on the soft ground. It was a hit at Horse Progress Days held on the 3rd and 4th of July in southern Indiana. Connie and I attended the event. It was a great time…if you like this sort of thing…and I do!

There were vendors of all sorts of farm and horse related products and equipment. The even was well attended. The rains stayed away both days, but like here had been raining pretty steady most of the month prior. The grounds were a bit soggy, but it did not dampen the spirit of anyone that I saw. There were all sorts of demonstrations for farm field, produce and logging. They had a great list of speakers on all sorts of topics, a tent for homemakers and children and a very nice high tunnel presentation.

There was lots to see and do, many friends old and new to meet and greet and great food to eat. I was glad to be in attendance, but worried that I would miss the first great opportunity here at home to make dry hay…and I was right. Now, rain is supposed to be back in the forecast. I will start making silage bales this week and just see what happens. It is very nice now to have a plan “B”.

Mid-eighties today and air so thick you can cut it with a knife. I caught up in the garden and clicked a few things off my list and got the hay mower ready to go. I feel a bit loaded down, but it will all work out…it always does 😮

Now, these are tomatoes!!!

Now, these are tomatoes!!!